This past weekend our son went on a scout camp to Antelope Island. Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake.
Earlier in the week we got all of his supplies ready. I even made one of my first ventures outside the house, to go to Sportsman's Warehouse to shop for a new tent. Our old tent was 20 years old and was literally falling apart at the seams. So we got a tent that both of us could fit into - an inexpensive 9'x7' tent made by Coleman. Of course I'm in no condition for camping just yet, but I hope to go with Bryan on future scout camps when I am able. As far as food, the way they work it here is that the scout is responsible for providing his evening meal. The troop provides breakfast the next morning. So we got Bryan a de-hydrated lasagna dinner. All he would have to do is add 10 ounces of boiling water, wait a few minutes and eat!
We got all his gear together, and Bryan and I had a word of prayer together before I dropped him off at the scoutmaster's house on Friday afternoon. All was well -- except for the weather forecast, that is!
It wasn't 30 minutes later until Dawn Ann was missing her boy! We want him to participate in scouts, and the activities, but you always worry that he will be safe and treated well. We didn't sleep well that night. We woke up several times, looking out the window, seeing the rain continuing to pour, and offering our prayers that Bryan be kept safe, and warm, and dry.
Thursday had been such a beautiful day. It was sunny and warm, with temperatures around 70 degrees. Too bad they didn't have the same weather on Friday.
Friday was windy and blustery. It was quite a bit cooler. The weather forecast called for a quarter to a half-inch of rain to fall between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am on Saturday morning. As it turned out the forecast was correct -- only it rained closer to an inch in some spots.
According to Bryan, when they arrived they got their tents set up, built a campfire, and cooked their evening meals. (He liked his lasagna.) Unlike most scout camps, they retired to their tents reasonably early (that is before midnight) so they could get out of the weather.
I had to talk Bryan into taking his winter coat with him. He just figured his light windbreaker jacket would do the job. He would learn that having the winter coat was a great idea! Having the rain poncho with him also came in handy.
Bryan invited another boy, Caleb, to spend the night in his tent. It rained and poured at their campsite all night long. Bryan's tent, being brand new, had a lot of water resistance which helped them stay relatively dry. By the end of night, only a little bit of water had come in around the corners of the tent. He had stayed warm and dry throughout the night - an answer to prayer.
I kept wondering throughout the night how many of the campers would end up spending the night in a truck or vehicle. As it turned out, one of the leaders did just that. Unfortunately after he left the tent for his car, the wind blew over his tent, and scattered his belongings (including his wallet). Fortunately the scouts were able to help locate the missing wallet, and other items that had blown away.
One tent was really flooded with all the rain -- they had 3 inches of water in their tent. You'll never guess where the flooded-out scouts sought refuge -- the outhouse! It was the warmest and driest place they could find. They were protected from the wind and rain, and the four of them huddled in the privy together until the morning campfire was started. Normally these city-boys are pretty squeamish about outhouses, but they had a new found appreciation for them on that night.
They got their campfire started, and made breakfast. According to Bryan, the most fun they had of the whole outing was the food fight between the scouts and leaders with the left-over pancakes.
They broke camp quickly and were home by about 10:00 (we weren't expecting them to get back until noon.) It was quite an adventure for the boys, mostly in how to battle the elements. As far as I know, everyone got along well with each other as they commiserated in their wetness.
Of course, as soon as they got home, the clouds broke and we got some good sunshine. We set up the tent again in our yard to dry it out, along with the other camping gear.
We were glad to have Bryan home safe and sound. As for Bryan, the first thing he wanted to do was to have a long hot bath, just to warm his bones.